I never know what to write about myself or how much to reveal. There’s a fine line between image and imagination, between honesty and humility, between fantasy and reality. I was born in 1971 in Muskegon, Michigan, and I live in Michigan now. But there’s a lot that happened inbetween.
When someone asks me what I do, I’m confounded by what to say. I’m an author. I’m a writer. I’m a traveler. I’m truth seeker. I’m an artist. I’m a mother and a daughter, too. I’m a yogi and a deep thinker. I’m a dancer and a singer. I’m a caretaker of worms and plants. I like to go to the beach, look for stones, and watch the sun set over majestic waters. I’m a curious creature.
I’m all these things and much more, but how do you put them together and figure me out? That’s not about who I am, but who you are! Do you know what I mean? I suppose I bare resemblance to that freckly smiling girl with pigtails, plastered on Wendy’s fast-food joints across America, but I’m not selling you hamburgers. I have no interest in painting an image of me in your mind; I’m interested in moving your thoughts and ideas.
I’ve been called the American version of Pippi Longstocking, soft spoken with moppy fine hair, freckles, and courage. I care about people everywhere, evident by choice to earn a BA in Communication and Culture, and then join the Peace Corps in Ecuador and Cameroon. I care about students, or else I wouldn’t have earned an MA in Administration of College Student Affairs: Counselor Education, and worked for public universities, en lieu of corporate America.
I believe in eudemonia: happiness as the result of an active life governed by reason. I’m trying to become more connected with nature. Like Luke Skywalker, I try find the force within me. I believe in smiling and doing my best. I try to understand and respect everything that comes to me to be understood. I am motivated by good food, wellness, fitness, and mobility. I enjoy life, as a learner, and strive to live healthy and full. Discovering myself, others, and the world is everything to me.
Williamson? William’s son? Son of William? I’m nobody’s son, although I do thrive in the sun. I have no clue who is William, but I think he was probably a good guy to have his son and future generations identify as the son of William. Either he was good or an egomaniac. I’ve lived and worked in sunny places like Africa, South America, and Europe. Maybe living on various continents has shaped who I am, or maybe it’s because of who I am that I’ve lived on various continents.
I’m a caretaker of an ecosystem for billions of microbes. I realize that I’m probably wrong about more than I’m right, and not anyone special or extraordinary. I’m don’t have any desire to defy gravity or the laws of the universe anyway. In one sense, I’m part of a global economy trading thoughts and ideas. I’m part of an electrical grid through history, psychology, religion, biology, sociology, and anthropology. I’m a lion in astrology, with a quiet roar.
I see everything differently now than I did last year or the year before, or five years ago. This makes me an evolutionary. My body (and brain) is deteriorating, but something about me is better than before, like a fine wine with age. Change is the only thing that doesn’t change, so if you’re in my life, then you’re changing me and with me. I believe everyone has something valuable to teach me, and I do my best to learn.
For what it’s worth, I’ve written the following books in various constructs of myself:
Study Abroad Map: The complete student guide to college beyond the USA (replaced Study Abroad 101 after three editions)
I also wrote several articles in The Chronicle of Higher Education, including: The Quest for Collaboration in Study Abroad (June 23, 2011), In Study Abroad, Simple Is Sophisticated (December 9, 2010), Study Abroad: Revenue Drain or Stream? (October 2, 2010), and 7 Signs of Successful Study-Abroad Programs (July 25, 2010). I’ve published a handful of other authors too.
Sometimes I think deeply about how simple I am—99% oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, carbon, calcium, and phosphorus. A heap of elements! You too, mate. Leonardo Da Vinci said it nicely, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” I’m the thesis and the antithesis of my illusory self. I’m made from a creative force. I’m a reflection of you, in some form we should figure out. I am whoever you think I am. I write from whomever I am. Welcome to my world.